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"Greek" extends Apatow film brand

By Chancellor Mills
On June 8, 2010

As the latest addition to the collected works of Judd Apatow, "Get Him to the Greek" delivers everything you would expect of its brain trust.

The film centers around a young record company intern named Aaron Green – played by Jonah Hill – who is assigned the seemingly simple task of accompanying British rock star Aldous Snow – played by Russell Brand – from London to the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, where Snow will kick off a $100 million anniversary tour.

Many moviegoers will no doubt remember Brand's original portrayal of Snow as the clean-and-sober, sex-crazed rock playboy in Apatow's 2008 blockbuster, "Forgetting Sarah Marshall."

After the movie gets going, we discover that, due to Snow's divorce from the love of his life and mother of his child, this dynamic has been altered a bit, with Snow trading in his Narcotics Anonymous group for the more easy-going company of Jim, Jack, Jose and Mary Jane – a substitution that turns Green's simple escort job into a 72-hour bender and orgy that would make Caligula blush.

Hill's performance in this film is something we have not seen from the actor in a while – if at all. He trades in his abrasively loud and foul-mouthed demeanor for one that is a little more awkward and even a little timid at times. This awkwardness rears its head when Hill's character makes a few nerdy Harry Potter jokes when he bumps into Londoner Tom Felton.

Another unique quality of the film was the presence of over a dozen cameos by actors, athletes and musicians, including a five second tongue-in-cheek appearance by Kristin Bell as Sarah Marshall.

While Brand does a fantastic job of portraying a rocking sex hound with a bit of suicidal streak, it's when the actor is forced to do a more dramatic scene that his weaknesses as an actor shine through. The most prominent example of this is the scene in which Snow has a deep, live-changing revelation – his "A-HA" moment. The scene itself is quite dramatic and emotional. However, it is staged in a pool in a clear attempt to cover up the fact that Brand is unable to cry on cue.

True fans of Apatow's work will likely not be disappointed by "Get Him to the Greek's" foul language or gratuitous nudity, nor the R rating that comes with that. However, the mark of a good movie like this one is stellar performances from the supporting cast. From Elizabeth Moss as Green's affable and overworked medical intern girlfriend, Daphne, to Sean "P. Diddy" Combs as Green's largely psychotic boss, Sergio, the supporting cast is what really made this movie for me.

Though it may have been a little slow to start, "Get Him to the Greek" remains quite entertaining throughout, hitting the height of its hilarity about halfway through and ending with just a drop of warmth and emotion.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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